Jan 10 2019
“Today tools such as AI and machine learning, video and chatbots will enable recruiters to find qualified candidates faster. But they can’t replace the human touch in recruiting.”
The recruiting industry is at an interesting inflection point. Like every
industry, it’s become hyper-
focused on data. “How do we make more perfect matches between candidates and
a meaty and exciting problem to solve.
While we work towards it, we must avoid becoming so obsessed with data that we
forget the human
touch. A heavy reliance on tech overlooks the fact that recruiting is ultimately
connections between human beings. Candidates and hiring managers alike are
looking for partners who
will help them grow in the long term, and work alongside them collaboratively
In our recent survey, 49 percent of recruiters told us that technology has made
it harder to make human
connections and a whopping 81 percent say recruiters need stronger people skills
than ever. The next
generation of HRTech must leverage data and automation without neglecting the
necessary to make strong connections.
Large companies have set expectation to put data and tech first in every
interaction. We went from a
world in which we sought items in stores to one in which we made requests via
search bars to one in
which a company anticipates what we need or want before we even know it, all
thanks to data.
Those expectations are now being applied to human capital. With the need to fill
more roles faster, the
days of “show me as many applicants as you can” are over ― the
focus has shifted to relevancy. Most
companies believe some number of searchable elements will find the right
candidate, resume keywords,
titles, jobs in specific industries, experience at well-known companies.
In the future, the goal is to make the process even more effective
― to develop the anticipation and
recommendation engine that comes from having more insight on candidate and
employer data. There
are countless technologies that could be used towards this end ― AI and
machine learning, video,
verifications and chatbots, among other things.
Fostering a Human Touch
But tools only go so far. They can’t determine who will be the best fit for the
organization. And the
human connection makes the difference in closing a candidate ― how you
tell your company’s story,
how well you understand what levers are most important to the candidate, and the
rapport you build.
Half the recruiting process is attracting candidates with the right level of
experience, the other half is
determining whether the team in place can successfully interact with them.
Tech is certainly an asset in the first half, which it will call
“discovery.” In travel, tech helped the
discovery process by gathering data to pinpoint what would capture interest.
Those who love luxury
resort vacations might not respond to a camping excursion but may be thrilled by
a yacht tour.
The filtering for the second half of recruiting ― which is largely about
culture fit ― needs to be enabled by the humans who will work alongside
the candidates. The most successful recruiters will emphasize the human while
leveraging technology’s value, and the most useful technology will enable human
What’s disappointing is that HRTech investments have been spent overwhelmingly on
tools to support
the quantitative aspects of discovery without enabling the qualitative aspects
of cultural fit.
So, let’s think about how we could add human touches to both phases
of recruiting. Some could be
technology-enabled, for example, making an online job ad come alive with video
of a human talking to a
human. This would allow recruiters to show a fuller picture and enable
candidates to self-select,
resulting in higher-quality applications.
The human touch of recruiting is how companies make
the biggest impact and candidates leave their
best impression. While the recruiting process may be built, in part, by
robots, it must be geared towards
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